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This is the classic 'Christmas tree' hilt carried principally by British dragoon units in the middle years of the 18th century. Cumberland's Dragoons would have carried these when harrying Highlanders fleeing from the Battle of Culloden. The Highlanders were cut down mercilessly.
This has a magnificent 37.5 inch blade, just over 2 inches wide at the forte, almost certainly made in the Veneto, the land area controlled by Venice which stretched up into the mountains to the north where the principal sword manufacturers were established in places like Belluno. The iron hilt was almost certainly made in Birmingham, where the Harvey family were preeminent in hilt making at this period.
It has its original wooden leather-wrapped iron-bound grip, which is now a little loose with age, but has clearly never been dismantled. The cutting power of this weapon must have been awesome in the hands of an accomplished swordsman. It has all its original black shellac finish on the interior of the guard, somewhat bubbled with age. These swords would routinely have been given a black paint finish on campaign, being polished bright for peace time duties.
There are a couple of stress cracks to the centre panel, but nothing too serious and totally in keeping with the manufacture of the piece.
This sword comes from the Tony North collection and before that from myself, as I sold it to him about ten years ago. (Tony North was de facto keeper of the Victoria & Albert Museum metalwork department for many years.)